Pickled Red Onions are quick and easy refrigerator pickles anyone can make ~ they go with literally everything!
Pickled onions make just about anything better!
You can’t make a great fish taco without pickled onions, but they are also great on sandwiches, burgers and hotdogs, salads, cheese boards…pretty much anywhere you’d use sliced onions. Pickling takes a bit of the raw bite off of onions and replaces it with a nice sweet-sour tang. And like most pickles they’re almost calorie free, so they are a great way to add interest and flavor to food if you’re watching your weight.
Pickled red onions change from purple to vivid pink
It’s a fun chemistry experiment to watch the purple onions turn bright pink the minute they hit the acidic vinegar. I love the vibrant color of these pickled red onions, they really brighten up food in more ways than one!
what you’ll need
- red onions, thinly sliced. A mandoline slicer helps with this.
- vinegar ~ white or other light mild vinegar like white wine, champagne, or rice wine vinegar will work.
- water ~ dilutes the sharpness of the vinegar.
- spices ~ use individual spices or a ready-made pickling mix.
The method for these pickles is very simple and lends itself well to adaptation and experimentation.
I used a few extra spices like multicolored peppercorns, yellow mustard seeds, and cumin seeds, but feel free to substitute in others. And just one sliced jalapeno pepper makes the whole jar pretty hot. But you can do this without any spices at all if you want to. The classic combination of vinegar, salt and sugar also makes a wonderful simple pickle.
I love making quick pickles–you can pickle all kinds of vegetables and it’s nice to have a little collection in the fridge so you have just the right pickle for all your recipes! Here are a few more of my favorites that are easy, fast, and sure to brighten up any dish.
- How To Quick Pickle (almost) Anything!
- Quick Pickled Fennel
- Quick Pickled Vidalia Onions
- Quick Pickled Jalapeños ~ easy recipe!
- Quick Pickled Rainbow Carrots
Pickled Red Onions
- 2 medium red onions
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 Tbsp multicolor peppercorns
- 1/2 tsp yellow mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp cumin seed
- pinch of sea salt
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 jalapeno or Serrano pepper, sliced. Optional!
- Peel and thinly slice the onions. Note: I use my mandoline slicer for thin, even slices.
- Put the vinegar, water, and all the spices in a small pan and bring up to a simmer. Take off the heat, and add the onions and hot pepper. Mix well.
- Place the onions in a mason jar and pour the liquid over them. Make sure the liquid covers the onions. Let cool, then cover and refrigerate.
- Your pickled onions are ready to enjoy once they have chilled. They will keep in the refrigerator for a month.
- You can use pickling spice in place of the individual spices listed.
- You can use any wide mouth canning jar for these pickles.